Do you dream about your ministry being the "next" big thing? Do you read those "Top/Most Influential/Most Innovative" church lists that seem to come out every week? What do you RUN after?
Although this post from 37 Signals relates specifically to the Web2.0 and technology world, I believe that it has implications for your church and ministry. Read this excerpt and think of how it may apply to you and your church.
"There is stupidity of trying to cast promising start-ups as The Next Google, The Next Microsoft, or The Next Whatever.
The true giants, like IBM, Microsoft, and Google, come to life so rarely that the chances of random company X being one of them is slim to the point that we might as well try to guess who’s going to be struck by lightning tomorrow or win the lottery.
But even more importantly, the real nexts are never repeats of the last next. That’s what makes them nexts! Thus the comparison is irrelevant.
Nobody is likely going to be the next Microsoft in much of anything that makes Microsoft the company it is: the Windows/Office power-punch. Google has been billed as such many times, but its entire being has nothing to do with the defining characteristics of Microsoft."
(HT: 37 Signals)
The same temptation is true in the church world. When Willow Creek was the "it" church, everyone wanted to be the next Willow Creek. When Saddleback was the "it" church, everyone RAN to be the "next" Purpose Driven Saddleback Church. Maybe your "it" church is Northpoint, Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC, Mars Hill or whatever.
The real "next" churches are never repeats of the last church or movement. They are unique movements of God. Don't try to be chasing after the phantom of the "next" but rather be the unique church God has called you to be within your unique community and cultural context.
If you have any doubts that this is true, read:Blue Ocean Strategy or the The Long Tail